Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What Do You Remember?

What do you remember from your first year of training?

What were the hardest things to overcome? What techniques stood out to you as your "bread and butter"? What do you wish someone had told you when you first started? What would have made the process easier for you? What do you consider to be "foundational" techniques that every beginner should know?

I am trying to set priorities about what is the most important to teach a class of beginners. I am glad I have my blog, because I am going to read back over it and remember what it was like in the beginning. It has only been about 2 years (I will hit 2 years in August), but it seems like a lifetime ago because so many things have changed both in bjj and in my life outside of class.

Yesterday I somehow kicked my OWN finger. Hurt like a beast. How did I kick my own finger? I can't even recreate the scenario in my own memory! All I know if that I was passing guard and I somehow kicked my own hand. Super lame! This morning, the knuckle connecting to my hand is bruised and swollen. Now I have two gimp fingers. Both injuries are self inflicted!! lol Check out the most ghetto splint ever:

Also, my reputation for being rough and kicking or kneeing people in the face continues. It is becoming a regular joke. If I don't get this nonsense in check soon, not only will I have no fingers or willing training partners left, but I will also probably get a horrible nick name like Stephen Segal or something to boot!

This must end.

I may or may not show up to my next class with padded elbows and knees. But then, my body would probably betray me by switch to some other method of assault like head butts and heel kicks. Ugggh!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Women's Self-Defense/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Women’s Self-Defense/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Classes

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the ideal form of self-defense for women. Using technique and leverage, women can learn how to defend themselves against larger, stronger assailants. At Fabio Novaes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, we can equip you to defend yourself in situations most commonly faced by women in a class taught by women and geared toward women.

Improves Cardio and Strength

Improves Coordination

Improves Self Confidence

Enables You to Defend Yourself Against Bigger, Stronger Assailants

Is for people of ALL fitness levels

Does NOT require previous martial arts experience

One Week Free Trial!

Classes are on Tuesdays/Thursdays from 6:30-8:00 pm. Contact Fabio Novaes at (863) 944-3386 or Allie McClish at (813)-391-5199 for more info. All classes are held at 3705 Century Blvd. Unit #4. Lakeland, FL.33811 (close to Drane Field Rd, in front of the airport).

If you couldn't tell by the flyer, I am very happy to announce that we will be starting a women's class at Fabio's and that I am going to have the honor of teaching it. I am very excited!

One of the reasons why I think a lot of women are put off by bjj is the fact that they have to wrestle around with strange, sweaty, scary, hairy men. I think that if they were given the opportunity to try bjj out in a class of only women, they would feel less self conscious and be more willing to give it a shot. We'll see if the theory holds up!

I do think that grappling bigger, stronger men is very helpful. You have to have the techniques right to make them work on someone larger and stronger. Being outmatched by weight and strength is exactly what bjj is designed to equip you for. But for some women, that idea is a deal breaker.

We are going to start classes in July 5th. I will keep you updated on the progress!! :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Escaping Bottom Turtle

I had a private lesson with Fabio today about escaping the scarfhold position and about escaping bottom turtle.

As far as escaping turtle goes, some of the major points I took away from the lesson were:

- When trapping an arm and sweeping, you want to trap the arm going over either your head or back and trap it on the opposite side. If it is near your head, you're going to roll over your own shoulder. The video I put in below is similar to what Fabio said to do if the person has their arm over your back and in reaching under your arm.

-When someone is sprawling on your neck/shoulders-- He said to grab the opposite knee and then break your opposite hip and slide through underneath them. I have no idea how to explain this in words. But what happens is either you come out and go onto all fours behind them, taking their back. Or, if they drop their weight as you go, you end up in a guard or half guard situation.

- Fabio also reminded me how to do the knee bar roll out from turtle. I am always reluctant to try this one in grappling because I am scared I might accidentally hurt someone because I don't know what I am doing very well with it. It's just like an arm bar, but with a leg. Don't know why I get hung up on it. Grrr.

Coincidentally, Liam over at Part Time Grappler made a sweet video on turtle escapes in which he details a useful escape from turtle. Go check it out! This is one of those times when the blogger community has really been helpful to me. It is great seeing so many different ideas on how to tackle a tricky situation. Thanks guys and gals!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Aint That A Kick In The Head?

I've had this problem for the last few classes. I've been kicking people or kneeing people. A lot. Much more than usual. I know it is common to accidentally kick someone during a grapple. But this is getting ridiculous.

I tried really hard not to kick anyone in the face tonight. Really hard. I made it through my first 3 grapples MMA free. Then I grappled this one guy and my streak of non-violence came to a jaw shattering end. Ok, there was no actual shattering of the jaw. I accidentally kicked him in the face while trying to regain guard.

Either way, I don't know what is up with me. I am not trying to be a beast and spaz across the mat. But somehow my feet keep making contact with other people's faces!

Other than my wanna-be kick-boxing, grappling is going alright. I am starting to see some progress in moving out from under the scarf hold position and out from under turtle. Watching higher belts maneuver out is really helpful. Seeing what they do gives me ideas I wouldn't have thought of on my own. Also, seeing how other people escape while I am grappling them is really helpful too. It is slow going teaching my body to do what I see, though. But that's the nature of the beast! :)

Lots of changes are happening in my personal life right now, with my job. Basically, I stepped down from my position. Its all confusing. I am a little depressed. But I am going to be able to spend more time with my family and train more, now, so that's a plus. It will all sort out eventually.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Women's Classes

Do you or have you ever attended a women's only self defense/bjj class? Or do you have an opinion about women's only classes? If so, I haz questions for you! :)

1. (For women) Would you be more likely to try bjj for the first time if you could go to a women's only class?

2. In your opinion, what would be advantageous about attending a women's only self defense/bjj class? What would be the disadvantages?

3. What time of day would be the best for you a women's class?

And, since this blog entry is a little sparse, here is a lovely example of how men and women are so different:

A man sees a fly in the toilet, he tries to pee on it. A woman sees a fly in the toilet, she decides to go to another stall or hold it until she gets home! :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Creating Space in the Scarf Hold Position

Recently, I've been tackling two positions that I find it difficult to escape from: the scarf hold and bottom turtle when someone is smashing down on top of me.

The other day, a friend of mine at the gym gave me some pointers on escaping the scarf hold. He reminded me that I need to hip out. But not just a half-hearted, one time hip out. I need to hip out hard and two or three times. My goal is to create enough space to swim the arm that is over my torso and either get to my knees or take their back--basically to create a scramble.

The guy who was helping me is nicknamed Paddi Cake. He's a big dude. He was telling me that, for me to get out from under him, I need to create enough space to start a scramble, which is where my speed and wiggly smallness will work to my advantage.

Another thing I was thinking about after that conversation was how I need to do better at moving myself underneath the person--moving my body away so that their weight falls--instead of moving the person themselves--trying to use muscle to get them off of me. Still trying to figure out how to do that in a lot of positions.

What is your favorite way to escape the scarf hold position?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I knew it!!!

Recently, I have been trying to keep track of the calories I eat and burn with this app on my phone called myfitnesspal. On it, they don't have bjj as an exercise. But they do have wrestling. So, I put in 45 min of wrestling to see how many calories it said someone at my weight would burn. I chose 45 minutes because you're not grappling the entire 90 minutes. It said for 45 min of it was only 273 calories!!!

I think this is wrong! So, I looked up online to see other opinions. I saw various things from around 500 calories an hour and upwards. I never saw anything as low as 273. But I founds this video and thought it was interesting.

What is you take on this? How many calories do you think you burn in a 90 minute class of bjj?